Mission Accomplished for Baldwin Boys Track Team
By Rodney S. Yap
Everything is a race when you’re traveling with the track team, especially your getaway.
The state defending champion Baldwin High School boys track team successfully executed its annual seek-and-destroy mission Friday, April 12, at Mililani Stadium on Oahu.
The Bears came, conquered and left the competition at the Honolulu Marathon Invitational track meet champions in the boys division with 87 points.
“Sometimes you have to go where the action is,” said Baldwin coach Gary Sanches. “Most of the top dogs in Honolulu were there, so it was a really good meet for us.”
The one-day event was held at Mililani’s newly renovated track and football facility, which will host the 2013 Island Movers State Track and Field Championships, May 10-11.
“We were in and out. In fact, we had to pull Dusty (Flores) and Dieon (Kaalakea) out of the pole vault to make our flight at 9:55 (p.m.). So they didn’t get to advance in the pole vault. Only Tyler (Feiteira) stayed back and he stayed with his sister. But we were on the move. I don’t know Honolulu that well, so luckily Keelan (Ewaliko) had his GPS.
“We made it, we were hustling. It was hilarious, we looked like a much of vagabonds. And when we finally came back we were tired. But the kids were happy and very appreciative.”
Sanches said Baldwin invested more than $3,000 to send 13 boys and two girls to face the best track and field talent Oahu had to offer.
There is no varsity competition here this week, as the Maui Interscholastic League Junior Varsity Track and Field Championships will be held Friday, April 19, at the Satoki Yamamoto Track and Field Facility.
Baldwin was allowed to enter its athletes in a maximum of two individual events Friday, with the exception of Feiteira, who was given permission to be in three events. The ruling sidelined Ewaliko and Feiteira — two of the state’s best — in the long jump.
Regardless of the restrictions, or the travel, nothing could hold back Baldwin — a team chomping at the bit for competition beyond the familiar faces in the MIL.
“You get tired of running against the same people on Maui,” said Sanches. “Sometimes you have to recharge your battery.”
The Bears built a 38-point cushion by the time the meet was over. Kamehameha Kapalama was second in the team standings with 49 points, followed by Punahou’s 44 and Mililani’s 38.
Although Radford did not compete, 24 other schools did, and the results confirmed Baldwin’s muscle in the sprints and hurdles are legit — making them favorites to repeat next month.
Ewaliko could not overcome a slow start in the 100, losing to Kamehameha Kapalama’s Logan Ne, 10.70 to 10.82. Despite finishing runner-up, Ewaliko’s time of 10.82 is a non-wind aided personal best. Earlier this year at Kamehameha Maui, Ewaliko was timed in 10.79 with the aide of a tail wind.
Equally impressive was Aaron Marzan’s fourth-place time of 10.97. The two, along with Dylan Leigh and Gerard Nakamura, combine to run a state best 42.84 in the boys 4 x 100 relay.
“We blew our handoffs between (exchange) two and three and we looked bad, yet we still ran a 42.8. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, because we knew we should have done better. Although the time was good, we should have done better, and we know we can run faster.”
As far as the 100 and 200, Sanches said: “Keelan had a lousy start in the 100 and still ran a 10.8. Four guys ran under 11 seconds, that’s pretty impressive. I thought the 200 was close and it opened a few eyes to see two kids run that fast.”
As it stands, only St. Anthony’s Shane Victorino — at the state meet on Maui in 1999 — has run faster in the 100 and 200 than Ewaliko did at Mililani on Friday in the history of the MIL. Victorino has a non wind-aided time of 10.80 in the 100 and a 21.54 in the 200. Ewaliko’s 10.82 and 21.67 are No. 2 all-time in the MIL.
Baldwin’s Abraham Reinhardt won the 110 high hurdles in 15.07 and Feiteira won the 300 intermediates in 40.27, both state bests. Feiteira stayed with his vault coach, Linden Wada, to win the pole vault at 13 feet, 6 inches. He also finished third in the high hurdles (15.42) and teammate Jordan Piano was fourth (15.43).
“Mililani has a beautiful all-weather track. The discus ring looks like a collegiate throwing ring, it was really, really nice. And the Mililani people are very friendly, very easy going,” Sanches said.
Baldwin’s Miki Fangatua was second in the discus (153-10) to Kauai’s McKenna Lopez-Estacio (161-2). Fangatua topped the shot put in 49.04.25, ahead of Farrington’s Charles Sataraka (48-10.50).
Piano was also fourth in the 300 hurdles (42.03) and Ricky Casco was fifth in the 400 (52.18).
Other top boys performers from Friday, April 12, include:
* Kamehameha Maui’s Jamal Jones won the 400 (51.36) and the 200 (22.45).
* Kamehameha Maui’s Connor “Kala’i” Yap posted season best of 15.17 in the high hurdles and 41.54 in the 300 intermediates.
* King Kekaulike’s Keegan Gregg ran an impressive 1:59.41 in the 800.
* King Kekaulike’s Jansen Agapay had a season best 22-3.25 in the long jump.
* Maui Prep Academy’s Troy Otto cleared 6-4 in the boys high jump, establishing a league and season best.